|Posted on September 15, 2014 at 3:29 PM||comments (10)|
“Not the Right One”
From Pastor Ted Hambrick
When I was 4 or 5 years old my younger brother and I were in the front yard playing when a neighbor stopped to see my dad. Mr. Duke stopped, spoke to me and my little brother and said, “I’m going have you come up and have supper with us and spend the night.” I thought he was talking to both Jimmy and me.
I don’t remember the two of us ever being invited to anybody’s house by ourselves at this time in our lives. Sure enough a few days later Mr. Duke sent his sons down to pick us up, but they didn’t come for the both of us, they came for one of us. So they guessed it must have been me.
I grabbed my stuff and climbed into the old pick-up truck and we went to the Duke home. When we walked in, Mr. Duke looked at me and said, “That’s the wrong one.” I wasn't the kid he wanted. He wanted my little brother. He was younger and cuter, I guess.
The Dukes talked among themselves and decided they might as well keep me since I was there. The truth is at that point I would rather that they had sent me home. I have to tell you the supper that I was looking forward to didn't taste nearly as good as I had anticipated. I guess when you discover you’re the wrong one; it kind of takes the flavor out of the pintos and cornbread. I don’t remember much of what took place that night other than I really wanted to go home.
I slept between the two teenage boys. They didn't talk much, they just went to sleep. I looked around the room and imagined that somebody might come and rescue me, but eventually I did fall asleep. The next morning after breakfast, I climbed into the pick-up truck again with the two teen-aged sons and they took me back home.
You know at home, even though there were a lot of us, I never felt like the wrong one. We were loved and we loved each other.
Later in life when I became a Christian, I felt at home in the Lord’s presence. I knew that to the Lord, I was the right one! I knew He loved me as much as anyone else in the big family of God.
The good news is that YOU ARE the right one, too! He invites us all to his home, to His table and asks us to join His big family: the Family of God!
|Posted on July 4, 2014 at 9:39 PM||comments (241)|
Does anyone remember Popeye? I used to love watching that cartoon. Popeye was just this ordinary sailor man until something happened. Usually this brute named, Brutus, would try to steal Popeye’s girlfriend, Olive Oyl, as he was doing some dastardly deed.
Not to worry, Popeye would have a can of spinach hidden in his shirt, and it would pop out of his shirt and Popeye would gulp the spinach down. Suddenly his skinny arms would turn into big muscles. He was super charged into this hulk of a hero. He would rescue his girlfriend, foil Brutus’deed and save the day! It was great.
My little brother Jimmy and I wondered what we could do if we could get some of that spinach. We asked our dad if he would get us some spinach. One day he brought us some.
We quickly got it opened and took a few bites of that nasty, slimey stuff and then we waited for the muscles to appear. We walked over to our dad who was sitting in his recliner and we looked out the front door and asked, “Which tree do you want moved?” He kinda chuckled and said, “Just any of them.” Jimmy and I walked out to the biggest tree in the yard and pushed. To our surprise, it didn’t move. We tried again and again, then we looked back toward the front door of the house and dad and Mama were standing there laughing.
Have you ever wondered if God ever laughs at us? I’m sure we’ve all given him reason to do so. How many times have we tried to do the impossible on our own strength? One thing I’ve learned is that the impossible can only become possible when God gets involved.
God has called Patty and I to take the gospel to our world. He has given us a bus! He’s given us a plan! It’s the Super Bus. Then he said, as he always does, “Go!” Go do what? Go do the impossible! Super Bus is reaching people who would not likely come to our churches, yet they still need to hear about Jesus. God is using a bus that goes to the neighborhoods where they live and they love the Super Bus. We now reach about 120 children each month, not counting their families. This summer we are giving out hundreds of books with our reading program. We are praying that the children will read them and that they will be better prepared for the coming school year.
If God is saying anything to us, it’s “Dream bigger!” We have 6 Super Bus locations and 2 other communities that have shown interest in Super Bus. We have added a new team for Johns Island, but new communities require new team members. However, we are not concerned or worried, God continues to meet every need.
Please remember us in prayer, and thank you for your continued support.
Pastor Ted Hambrick
p.s. Would you like to start a “Super Bus” where you live?
|Posted on March 6, 2014 at 3:13 PM||comments (7)|
“The Day They Came Running”
As a pastor I often try to imagine what it must have been like for Jesus. When he went to some places, they asked him to leave. The religious leaders despised him and called him names. After Jesus became well known to the people, would spontaneously surround him. I’ve often thought that as soon it was learned that Jesus was near, people would hurry to go to him to hear him share the Good News. It’s not a stretch to believe that people would get excited and run to see him. We know that Zacchaeus climbed a tree to hear and see Jesus.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see people so excited to hear about Jesus that they would come running?
Patty and I had a wonderful experience a couple of Saturdays ago. We were taking our Super Bus into a new community. This mobile home park has had 3 murders there in the last couple of years. Regardless, we felt God’s direction and so we moved forward. On Thursday evening Patty and I went through the park announcing that we would be there the following Saturday with the Super Bus. We explained what we would be teaching and doing.
When we drove into the community on Saturday, a woman came running toward the bus, hollering for us to wait up. She asked what time were we going to start and could she come and help? That was great! We’ve never had anyone to do that. So we left her and went a little further. Then another woman followed by a little boy came running to stop us. She also wanted to know where we were going to be and she wanted to help, too!
Then we were stopped by a young man. He said, “I’ve seen this bus in here a couple of times. What are you doing? I told him about our Super Bus Ministry. He seemed pleased, bid me farewell, then went on his way.
Patty and I and the two new friends who we met earlier were at an empty lot. We were setting up tables, our shelter and the bus.
The young man who had stopped the bus came to talk to me. He said, “Pastor if I wasn’t drinking, I wouldn’t be talking to you. I’m extremely shy.” Then he said, “I’m an alcoholic, I’ve tried everything, AA just everything.” I told him about Jesus and how I had seen the Lord deliver people. I asked if we could pray for him. He agreed. There in an open field, he held my hand. On the other side he held Patty’s hand and both Patty and I held the hands of our new friends. Our new friends held the hands of the children who had arrived early. We prayed for deliverance and hope for our new friend, Willis.
When all the children arrived (most came with their parents), we played games, did a craft and shared Jesus.
In closing, Patty had all the parents and all the children and me following her in a line dancing and jumping and celebrating Jesus in a song. We were not in a church building, we were in a vacant lot. We were where everyone could see us, but we didn't care. It felt so right. It felt like church.
I just imagine if the Lord was looking on He’d think, “Now that’s a beautiful sight.”
What a day!! It was the day that they came running!
|Posted on February 25, 2014 at 7:10 PM||comments (13)|
|Posted on February 17, 2014 at 8:52 PM||comments (96)|
Sometimes you find God in the strangest places. For instance, yesterday there was a hummingbird trapped on our screened porch. He had flown in through an opened door, but try as he might, he couldn’t find his way back out. We’re not sure how long he had been fanatically searching for an escape, but I could tell he was exhausted.
I took a dust mop and tried to guide him toward the door, but I couldn’t get him to go that direction without possibly hurting him. I finally was able to catch him and I held him in my closed hands until I got him outside. I opened my hands expecting him to fly away, but he didn’t. I first thought I must have injured him or even accidently killed it, but no, he was breathing. I held him in the palm of my hand for some time, wishing that he would take flight, but he sat very still.
It started to rain so I put him on a wooden fence post. I got a plastic bag and fashioned a cover in such a way that if chose to, he could fly away. The rain turned into a storm with loud thunder and bright flashes of lightning. From the house I strained to see if he was still there. I wondered how my shelter was holding up. Through the storm I couldn’t see him.
When the thunder, lightning and rain finally moved into the distance, I went out to check on the little bird. He was gone. Had he fallen off the post? I searched the ground around him, he hadn’t fallen. It seems that he rested during the storm. When the storm was over he was again able to take flight. Maybe the little bird flew to its nest or to awaiting babies. Who knows where it went?
When I held that tiny, little bird in my hand I felt such an overwhelming compassion and concern for his well-being. In my own heart I felt God speak to me and remind me that I am in His hands!
|Posted on February 17, 2014 at 8:49 PM||comments (25)|
All summer we were going into our community with our Super Bus Summer Reading Program. It was designed to keep children's minds focused on learning during the long summer vacation.
Every two weeks we provided the children with a selection of books and they could choose one to read. The rule was that they had to bring it back before they would get another book. The program was greatly successful with many of the children receiving several books throughout the summer. Each time we arrived in their neighborhood the children came running.
Ty was a 12 year-old who had failed to be promoted to the next grade. His mother told me that he only missed passing by 2 points. Then she said, "They should have given him the 2 points." I asked, "Are you sure you'd want them to give it to him?"
Ty joined our summer reading program. I thought that if I could just get him to read, it would help him catch up. I made a deal with him. I handed him "Tom Sawyer" and said, "When you finish this we'll do something special." I told him about my favorite bike trail. I said, "We could go, it's about 10 miles long. It's really cool." He said, "I thought we might go out to eat. I really like Kentucky Fried Chicken." I said, "Sure I like KFC too."[
The next Super Bus Reading Day, he hurried to tell me all about the book. He told me about Tom and the slave, Jim. He told me how Tom helped Jim escape. Then he said, "But I'm not done, I'll read the rest tonight."
That has been several weeks ago. Every time I see him he tells me he's just about finished.
Summer's over. School has begun. I really would like to take Ty for some Kentucky Fried Chicken, but that would be like giving him the 2 points and passing him anyway.
Character is built when we face the consequences of our actions. Rewarding wrong behavior just encourages wrong behavior.
I sure would have enjoyed watching Ty eat KFC and listening to him
tell me about all of the Tom Sawyer book!
|Posted on February 17, 2014 at 8:46 PM||comments (13)|
It’s amazing isn’t it! There are times when you are doing your very best and nothing seems to be happening. Sometimes it even feels like a lost cause.
In El Cajon, Ca. we saw a need to minister to the un-churched children and teens of our community. Each Wednesday we ran our van and a bus into the community to pick-up whoever wanted to come. What we discovered was that many of the children were absolutely great, but there were a few that could give you gray hair.
My friend, Don and I agreed that we would teach the teen class. I knew the kids from riding my bus and had built a good rappor with them. They liked me and Don and we liked them!.
On one very difficult night, the teens came to church in rare form. They would not quieten down. I pleaded with them. Nothing happened. I used my low voice of authority. Nothing happened. I raised my voice, and if anything it got worse. I could not get a sentence out without a major disturbance stopping me.
I closed my book and I said, "Get on the bus!” They ran out of the room and fought to get on the bus first. Someone asked, "Where we going pastor?" I said, "I’m taking you home! You refused to behave. I’m done with you! I’m taking you home."
There was a long silence. Then one girl spoke up from the rear of the bus: "Pastor, don’t give up on us. Don’t give up on us.”
She stabbed me in the heart with her words. I didn’t want to give up on them. I just did not know what else to do.
The next week we went back and picked the kids up for one more opportunity to share the life changing gospel.
I have since heard the pleading voice of the young girl, many times over the years. There have been times when things haven’t gone as I had hoped or planned, times where I’ve just wanted to quit. I've felt, "Beside what difference does it make?" Then I hear, “Pastor, don’t give up on us.”
A few years after I left California, I later heard that one of those teenaged girls on that bus was killed in a drive by shooting. I pray that the time that we were together, talking laughing, and even pleading for their attention, did not go “Void.” I pray that they will remember the people who gave them a ride on the bus, taught them, played games with them and loved them. I hope they remember that the message the pastor and volunteers shared was the message of Hope.
“Pastor don’t give up on us.”
|Posted on February 17, 2014 at 8:44 PM||comments (239)|
From Pastor Ted Hambrick
"Patty says I’m a Loser"
That’s right! She says I’m a loser and she’s a finder. She’s right! I can’t believe how much I lose. I lose tools, shoes, my car at Walmart just to name a few things. I would say I’m getting old, but this is a lifelong condition.
Recently we had a RV donated to our ministry. I sold it on Saturday and when the man asked for the keys, I began my search. I finally had to tell him I couldn’t find them, but I said, "When my wife gets home, she’ll find them in ten minutes."
I spent all afternoon and most of the evening searching drawers, clothes, under furniture, in my car and every inch of the RV.
Patty got home Saturday evening and she assured me she would find them tomorrow after church.
Do you know where she found the keys? In a drawer that I had searched at least 3 times. She’s the finder. (She's also a keeper !")
Just a week before the key episode, I got up on Sunday morning, shaved, showered, threw up the bed. Down South, throwing up the bed is when you don’t actually make it up, you just fix it to where you won’t be embarrassed if someone goes into your bedroom.
I laid down on the bed and went over my sermon, had breakfast, got our living room ready for church.
I suddenly realized I hadn’t seen my 5 pound chihuahua all morning. I called him. He usually comes running.
Bart is always with me. He sitting on my lap, following me around the house and sleeps in our bed. I opened the front door and yelled for him. I looked in all the rooms and closets and I looked over towards our bed, There was a little lump in the middle of it! A close looked revealed that the lump was breathing. Yep! I had made Bart up in the bed. That Just proves I am a loser.
Jesus, however, is a finder!
John 4:4 says, “Now he had to go through Samaria.”
The truth is he didn’t have to go, most Jews went around Samaria. There was something that compelled him to go Samaria. There was a woman at a well who needed to be found.
Isn’t it wonderful? Jesus is our finder.
|Posted on March 13, 2013 at 12:45 PM||comments (33)|
From Pastor Ted Hambrick: "Can't Never Could Do Nothing!:
I think it was determined early in my educational experience that I wasn't going to be a rocket scientist. I had a problem staying with the task long enough to learn the material. I was quick to say, "I can't." My older brother Bobby frequently tried to help me. When he would hear me say, "I can't," he would say, "Can't never could do nothing." It's bad grammar, but the principle was true. When you say, "I can't," what you're really saying is: "I give up!"
I haven't quite figured out this "getting old" thing. I don't know whether or not at a certain age you think, "Do I just stop and wait on Jesus or do I keep on going until I can't?
At about 50 years old, I decided that there were a lot of things I couldn't do physically, I was too old. The truth is I just quit trying. Some of the younger people around me treated me like a feeble old man. The truth is they were just trying to be respectful.
One day I was visiting my family in Nashville, Tennessee and my little brother Jimmy told me that I had ready decided that I was old. He declared he wasn't going to get old until he had to. On the way home I thought about what he said. I decided to live differently. I wasn't going to get old until I got old.
It was about that time, my son challenged me to hike part of the Appalachian Trail with him this spring. The only problem was I had already decided there were so many things I couldn't do physically. How could I carry a 40 lb pack and hike 10-15 miles a day on a trail? At that time physical exercise was walking to the mail box or picking sticks up off the front yard.
The thing I did was to accept the challenge from my son and I began to take hikes. I began to walk and hike. When I found something I couldn't do, I tried anyway. Then the next day I would do more and try harder, until I could accomplish the task. Soon I was doing a lot of things I had been convinced that I would never be able to do again. I was amazed how stong I felt. I also felt many years younger. It's been almost a year since I took the challenge. In a couple of months we will be hiking the trail.
The "can'ts" have become, "I can." I don't worry about not being able to do it. I can now do what I thought was impossible. This week I ran 4-5 miles and I biked 16 miles. I haven't run in 30 years. I've also been working with the weight machines at my gym to build muscle.
Where would I be if I had answered my son's challenge with, "I can't? I would still be too old and I would be staying at home in May instead of living a dream.
God calls all of us to do things that are beyond us. When we look at the challenge and say, "Lord, I can't," we are really saying, "Lord, I won't."
Here is how you should answer the Lord. The correct answer to the Lord is always, "Yes!" "No," is always a wrong answer. Answer and then try!
Give God your best effort. He will help you. Here is a biblical truth that I have found. "God does not call us to do the impossible, without making it possible.
|Posted on March 6, 2013 at 1:24 PM||comments (15)|
How to Be Courageous
Actually I not an authority on courage. However, I have been scared a few times. I didn't have a long military career, but I was there long enough to learn some very valuable lessons. For instance, in Basic Training they took us out to the grenade range. Doesn't that sound fun? It does now, but back then I had not developed my... precision throwing arm. As a matter of fact, when I threw the ball it never went where I aimed. As a matter of fact my pitching style was better fitted for T-ball rather than the grenade range. Here we were getting ready to do something that I had not considered when I signed up. The Drill Sergeant informed us that we were not going to throw one, no we were going to get to throw 2 grenades.
At the grenade range, we were ordered to stand with our backs to the wall, then slide down the wall as we made our way, one at a time out of the bunker. Once outside the bunker we were introduced to the hand-grenade. One of the soldiers in front of me said something he thought was funny and the Drill Sergeant grabbed him by his shirt and pulled him away from the wall and then slammed him back against it. Thinking this was a point to make conversation with the Drill Sergeant, I asked, "You really enjoy this don't you? He said, "Private, what I would really enjoy would be going out there, picking you up and putting the little pieces of you in your helmet." If he was trying to scare me, he was quite successful.
Finally, I left the bunker and was lead to another Sergeant who was standing behind a high mound of dirt. He held a hand grenade in each hand. When I took a good look at him, he was scared from head to toe. He had obviously been in battle. As much as I admire and appreciate our troops, I wasn't sure how he got those scars and I wanted a grenade teacher who had never dropped one.
He placed one grenade into my shaking hand. He said pull the pin and bring your hand behind your ear and throw it over the dirt. I listened carefully to what he said. I pulled the pin, brought my hand all the way back behind my ear and threw it as hard as I could. It barely cleared the top of the dirt pile.
The Sergeant was kind enough to offer to throw my second grenade for me. I guess he realized that I had an under- developed throwing arm. I declined because I was experienced now!
What I learned about fear that day was that the most difficult steps are the first ones, the steps when you decide, “I'm going to move forward. I'm going to do this!”
As believers we have an advantage. We have the Lord Himself who goes with us into those frightening situations in life. When God leads us into the valley, sometimes the courage comes only when we take the first step on faith. The courage comes when we say, “Lord you know how I feel and how weak I am, but this step, this first step is a step trusting and believing.”
It's amazing the courage that comes from faith walking.